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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anybody done a tutorial or FAQ on installing the leather kits we've gotten on these group buys? Got the rear seat bottom done last night and it looks like the rear seat back w/the arm rest & the driver's seat are going to be a pain in the azz! Help....
 

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Installation

How to install your leather in your vehicle.

The first thing that you need to do is check to make sure that you have everything you need. Here is a general list of tools and products you will need to complete your leather installation.

· Hog-rings

· Hog-ring Pliers

· Hog-ring cutters or tin snips

· Tool set, or selected sockets for seat removal

· Hog ring

· Hog-ring pliers

· Hog-ring Cutters

Here are some items that you may need depending on the product application.

· Headliner Stuffing Tool

· Scissors

· 3M Upholstery Glue

· Heat Gun (some blow dryers may suffice)

· Mineral Spirits

· Headliner Stuffing Tool

Installation generally takes an experienced installer about four hours for an average two-row seating sedan with door panels, so remain patient and focused!

It's time to remove your seats. Every car is different so be attentive to how your interior is designed. Start with the front seats. In general all seats are bolted to the floor by 4 or so bolts, with the exception of some European models (they are what we refer to as over-engineered in most cases).

Most seats are fairly easy to remove from your car. Take enough time to look at your seat and determine how they are to be removed. Most of the damage done to a car's seats and interior is due to the installer's carelessness when removing the interior. Look for wires and cable to detach or unplug. This is especially important if you have power seats, seat heaters,or seat massagers. Most of the time these are located under the seat.

Next remove any bolts holding the seat to the floor. When everything has been removed, take the seats to a clean work area to begin the installation. After the front seats have been removed; begin to take the rear seats out. The rear seat, usually a bench seat, should be fairly easy as well. Sometimes the side door floor panels will need to be taken off in order to reach any bolts or screws holding it on. Another key area that manufactures usually put the seat attachments in is the upper left and right side of the backseat. It may be necessary to pull back on the upper corners of the seat to reveal the bolts or screws attaching the seat. The seat may be two different parts; the back support and the covered cushion that you sit on. One may need to be taken off first in order to gain access to the other one.

Now that you have all of the seats out of you vehicle, it is time to start removing the cloth from your seats. The cloth should be held to the seats with small circular metal rings called hog-rings. Start with the back seats, they are generally much easier, and will give you a general idea of the task that you have just taken on. Turn one of the back seat cushions over and you will see the hog-rings that attach the outer skirting of the cloth seats. Now begin by clipping the factory hog-rings off with the tin snips mentioned above.

Here is a hog ring that holds the cloth on the seat by closing around a steel rod in the seat foam and the steel rod in the cloth seat cover.

IMPORTANT: Make sure to note where and how these hog rings are attaching the cloth to the seat. The leather is going to attach the same way.

Once you have finished clipping the hog-rings off the outer edge of the foam cushion, lift up the edge of the cloth material and begin to clip the hog-rings that secure the center inserts of the cloth covers. Now that the entire cloth cover is removed, take any metal rods that were in the cloth covers and place them in the corresponding locations on your new leather covers. Now begin hog-ringing these rods in the new leather seat cover to the correct metal rods embedded in the foam seat cushion. Finally attach the outer skirting of the leather seat cover to the bottom of the seat cushion with the hog-rings.

NOTE: Where necessary you may need to make holes in the leather to correspond to the factory hog-ring positions. These holes should not be made with a utensil or tool, but with the hog-rings themselves as you squeeze them on.

For the front seats, usually buckets, there is usually more work involved. The bottom cushions are usually removable and the leather covers are usually installed the same way the back seats were explained. The tops of the front seats are either wrapped around and hog-ringed or pull over covers, either way the leather seating kits we provide are always installed the same way your factory cloth is. This may be one of the more difficult parts of the install, so stay focused on placing the hog rings in every spot that needs one. If you miss one the leather may not form correctly to the seat. Make sure that each hog ring is set firmly and has a place around the metal rod or seams. Do not place them to close to the seam ending or they will rip out. If you think that you might have missed one or that one is loose, do not hesitate to replace it. Better now that later on!

After you get all of the leather installed, reassemble your seats and put them back into your car. Reattach any wires or cables you detached.

Door Panel Inserts:

This is without a doubt the most difficult part of any install. The door panels we send are either vinyl material with leather puckering sewn in or flat vinyl fabric, and come over-sized to ensure a proper fit. Either way the install is the same.

The first step is to remove the whole door panel from the door. Every cars door panels are attached completely differently, so good luck. Once you have the door panels take them to your clean work area to begin the installation.

We HIGHLY RECOMMEND leaving the factory cloth ON THE DOOR PANEL. It will make the installation go much easier and will make the finished product look much more professional.

Lay the door panel on a flat table and find the correct door insert. Lay the leather door insert over the cloth insert and line it up. Take the headliner-stuffing tool and begin to push the insert down in to the crevice all the way around the cloth insert. This will give you an idea of how much of the leather insert needs to be trimmed off. Trim the leather insert slowly and conservatively so you do not end up cutting yourself short.

Now that the insert is trimmed, do a final dry-stuffing of its edges to see if they fold down into the crevice neatly and that the edge disappears. Having finished the trimming of the leather insert, tape off the edges of the door panel so as to minimize the mess that will be made when applying the glue.

Now, shake the spray-can of 3M Adhesive and apply the first coat of glue to both the bottom of the leather insert and to the top of the cloth insert. Let it tack (dry) up for about 2 minutes and apply a second coat in an opposite spray pattern. Let that coat tack up and apply the third coat, once again in an opposing spray pattern. The third coat should be allowed to tack up for about 5 minutes.

At this point you are ready to install the leather insert. Be sure to place the leather insert squarely on the cloth insert so as to minimized wrinkling. Quickly begin to stuff the edges of the leather insert into the crevice so that no edges show. Finally let the insert dry for at least 2 hours before installing the doorpanels in the car as to avoid fumes.

While waiting for the insert to dry remove the tape used to minimize over-spray and begin to clean the leather and vinyl with a mineral spirts' soaked rag. GOOD LUCK!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I saw that but...

Leon, it seems like someone did a Legend-specific tutorial back around the same time as the first leather GB. I want to say it was NickD but I wouldn't swear to it.

Nick, where are you???:confused: :confused: :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yowza!!

Nick, you da man!!! Couple of questions---did you use hogrings on the wires in the seat bottoms or did you just use the springs? Also, how did you get the plastic "guide tubes" for the headrests out, particularly the one with the release tab? Thankee mucho!!!
 

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I beleive that tutorial is for a coupe. The guy who did my install barked at me because I printed out those instructions for him, and I thought they were for a sedan while he looked at it and found they were for a coupe.

I have heard the back is the worst part..... it took my installer almost a fulll day in the shop he said. He said he would never do one of these kits again for an 8hr quote because it took him two full days to do it.

I wish you guys luck on the install:)
 

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Re: Yowza!!

stevieray said:
Nick, you da man!!! Couple of questions---did you use hogrings on the wires in the seat bottoms or did you just use the springs? Also, how did you get the plastic "guide tubes" for the headrests out, particularly the one with the release tab? Thankee mucho!!!
Let me see if I understand you. The seat bottoms, I assume you mean the metal wiring that runs along the bottoms and seat backs for the seats that had springs originally attached? I reused the old springs and I put hogrings around the edges where they were originally. I just redid what was originally done.

Ok, those are tricky. The non-release tab ones you need to just crimp the bottoms together and pop them out, forcefully. The ones with the tabs are the same except there is a philips head screw holding it in as well. The screw is under the tab. What you do is with a small screwdriver pry the tab out further, it will snap back revealing a screw head. Be carefull not to loose the tiny spring. Remove the tab, spring and screw completely then do the same thing you did with the non-tab side.

I hope this helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
McKenzie, no offense but it sounds like your installer was a dickhead. The first time someone I'm paying to do work barks at me, he gets told which body part to blow and I'm out the door along with my business. Anyway, I think the only difference in the two is that a coupe has built-in headrests and getting the new covers on the sedan headrests took all of 10 minutes. I think if you're patient and have adequate room, this can be a DIY job. That having been said, I still may let the local upholstery shop do my driver's seat simply because of the down-time factor. Later---
 

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Mckenzie91 said:
I I have heard the back is the worst part..... it took my installer almost a fulll day in the shop he said. He said he would never do one of these kits again for an 8hr quote because it took him two full days to do it.
The back as in the back seats? I thought the back seats were the easiest :) Lots and lots of hogrings. The hardest parts in my opinion were hogcliping the center portions of the seats down, doing the backs of the seats where the pocket is, and cutting the holes for the hearest and seat controls (I was sweating my balls off as I took my blade to the beautiful leather). :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, Nick...

Gotcha. I didn't hogring my wires back simply because Eric said you really didn't have to if you reused the springs but I'll probably redo that tonight. I'll try that trick with the guide tubes tonight, too. Thanks again...
 

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He seemed like a nice guy.... and thank god I paid before I left for vacation to Toronto... because he quoted me $400 (8hrs @$50/hr) for the install, and it took him two full days.

When I went to pick up my old leather from him, he could not stop mentioning how much money he lost, and how he would never do another kit like this again. It was starting to piss me off because it was like he was asking for extra $$$ or something... oh well...

And yes Nick, he was refering to the back seats.....:confused:
 

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I'm glad to hear you guys are getting your kits and are happy with them :) . I received mine also and it looks great! I was going to do this myself but I have no time at all so I gotta go make an appointment, hehe.

Goodluck!
 

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Trojan Horse said:
Wow. I can't believe that something I wrote that long ago is still being passed around. Glad to see that someone thought it was worthy of keeping for posterity.
It's been sitting on my server since the day it was made :) Hasn't gone anywhere...
 

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Trojan Horse said:
Wow. I can't believe that something I wrote that long ago is still being passed around. Glad to see that someone thought it was worthy of keeping for posterity.
Also, thank you Trojan Horse!

May I post this ony my FAQ page for everyone else? You guys of course get FULL credit
 
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